Originally Posted by Stephen Dunstan
The main problems at Marton Mere of late have been due to photographers getting too close. When I found the first one of this season (whilst jogging!) I did wonder what to for the best, discussed it with others and we agreed that the behaviour of a tiny minority shouldn't spoil it for everyone else. Although a photographer did cause the birds to move roost they soon settled in another spot, and I think the great enjoyment they have offered hundreds of visiting birders since then suggests we made the right decision.
In terms of Darren's distinction between the breeding season and other times of year I think disturbance in hard winter weather can be just as damaging as in the summer.
Yes, you're right Stephen. It struck me last night that my actions were 'unhelpful' to owls throughout the year, not just during the breeding season. I shall cease to be a vole-impersonator forthwith.